After talking to our amazing campers, here are our top 10 reasons why summer camps are the best way for you to spend your holidays this year.
1. No parents
It’s an absolute victory being free of parents for 1 or 2 weeks. No more having to pick up your dirty socks from the floor of your room or helping in the kitchen. You leave parents behind to enjoy the independence and freedom of camp. However, while you are buzzing to be away from them, you notice that your parents are posting selfies of their holiday in Barbados. Gutted!
2. Seeing new places
Everybody loves the excursions during a summer camp. Combining the joy of being dragged up Edinburgh’s little mountain, the absolute cultural highlight of a church visit and the unbeatable taste of a packed lunch with an apple, a cereal bar and two soggy sandwiches. However, once the official part of the excursion is over, it just couldn’t get better – free time. Ditch the sandwiches, head to McDonald’s and shop with your new best friends in shops that don’t exist in your country. You can also stock up on sweets for the rest of camp and have a competition to see who can photobomb the most Japanese tourists!
3. Make friends with Fanny, Jürgen, German, Jesús and Eilidh
On summer camps you are suddenly surrounded by a lots of people from all over the world with names you would have never imagined exist. Never mind trying to pronounce them! However after getting over the initial hilarity, it becomes totally normal and you become good friends. Your friends will still laugh when you tell stories about them though…
4. The mentors are nice and funny (although they sometimes go a bit overboard)
The mentors are all special in their own way. There is always the over enthusiast mentor who loves activities more than you do and drags everybody outside during free time to play sport. Even if this mentor’s a bit too competitive, everybody wants him/her on their team. There’s the ‘older sister’ mentor that just totally understands all of your problems and is a 100% on your wavelength. There’s the girly mentor who is scared of a dodgeball and the cool mentor who never wants to get dirty. And of course there’s the scary camp leader who bosses everyone around and comes out if there is real trouble.
You can be sure that you get to smash an egg on the head of at least one of them, or pour a bucket of ice cold water over one of their head’s, before the camp is over. All of them have their place on camp and you miss them when you’re back home.
5. Capture the flag
It simply is and will always be the best camp game ever. The team spirit, the strategic masterminds who plan what your next move will be and that brave camper who acts as a distraction and sacrifices their freedom for the good of the team. Teams are always fighting over who gets the sporty mentor and there are some intense discussions to form the offence and defence within the team. However there is always this one group who decides to take a 10-mile detour to try to sneak up on the enemy base. They never actually make it and return from the wilderness after the game is over and their team has already lost.
6. (Not so boring) language lessons
Nobody is really that keen to have more lessons during their well-deserved summer break, even though it keeps your brain from getting too rusty. After starting the lessons with quite a lot of apprehension, you eventually have to admit to yourself that it’s quite fun. The teachers are young and full of ideas and you get the chance to dress somebody up as a chicken! You’re not checking your watch every 5 minutes and by the end of the week you have written a song, cooked crêpes, made a podcast and a ‘blockbuster’ film. Back at school you can complain about all the extra lessons you took during the holidays, but if you’re completely honest, they were actually really good fun and you still remember how to say “crazy chicken circus” in French.
7. Disco beats
Nothing beats the feelings and emotion on the last night at camp. During long dance-offs, everyone joining the Macarena routine, a quadrillion selfies, following every camper on Instagram and starting a camp What’s App group, it is a crazy rollercoaster of tears and laughter. It is also by far the hardest night for the camp mentors to try to get everybody to go to bed and stay their rooms. It nearly never works out and campers are all super tired the next day, resulting in more tears and confused parents at pick-up.
8. Campfires and marshmallows
A good campfire is as important to a summer camp as marshmallows are to smores (which you always eat way too many of even though you should know better). Singing campfire songs mixed with an occasional Justine Bieber one is as much part of the campfire tradition as the boys setting sticks on fire in seemingly endless amazement of this natural spectacle.
After the fire and various ghost stories (some of which are definitely better than others) it’s time for the highlight of the night – the nightwalk. Making this event even “scarier” than it already is, there are at least two camp mentors hiding somewhere in the bushes wearing a variety of old bed sheets and chains and carrying water pistols and torches. Even although you suspect something fishy is going on when some mentors disappear early because they have “work to do” or “aren’t feeling too well”, the appearance of those “monsters” still sends the boys running and the girls screaming every single year.
9. Night missions
There is always one camper in your room with a creative mind and has great ideas of what best to do with the long hours where everybody is supposed to be in bed. The creativity of these ideas has no limit and even though you’re a bit apprehensive at the start, you don’t want to be the only one staying in bed. Thanks to camp, you develop amazing sneaking skills and can even heat up an entire apple pie you stole from the kitchen with a hairdryer in complete silence and without arousing the suspicion of a mentor.
10. Summer’s the best time of the year
The summer holidays mean no school for 6 long weeks and time to use completely as you wish. In some countries the holidays are even longer – lucky ducks! Summer camp is a great way to fill the holidays with friends, activities, challenges and new experiences. And Scotland may not be the sunniest country in the world (and the midges are a pain) but it is truly beautiful in summer.
If you ask us, camp is absolutely awesome!